Picture in your mind this scene: A child, standing outside an empty school at dusk… someone forgot to pick him up. You’ve seen the scene in movies and on TV a hundred times. His friends have long since gone home and are sitting around dinner tables full of warm and hearty food. But not this kid. This kid is near tears because he is alone, forgotten.
That’s sort of how my kid is at daycare.
He is one of the first in his room to be dropped off – usually even before his teacher has arrived and so he is shuffled into the two-year-olds’ room where he falls out of the chairs at the big kid table and is impressing no one with his spoon-wielding skills (or lack-thereof).
At the end of the day, he is often shuffled into the infant room, where he cries and cries because let’s face it – those “babies” don’t have NEARLY the awesome toys that reside in the toddler room.
Mike and I both work normal 8-to-5 jobs. So Ryan is dropped off at 7:30 and picked up by 5:30 or 5:45. Some days, I think I’m really early (5:25!!), but still I walk in to a nearly empty daycare and a kid who is pissed off that his teacher – who had worked a long day – had abandoned him to go collapse on her couch and muster up the courage to do it all over again tomorrow.
And it’s always been this way, even at his old daycare. Sometimes the teacher there would be so bored with just one kid left, that I would walk in to find her sitting with Ryan in the lobby, chatting with the receptionist. It makes me feel a teensy bit guilty. Does he wonder why he has to watch all the other kids come and go while he is shifted from room to room?
One would assume that the majority of parents who utilize a daycare are working parents. Sure, maybe one or two work part-time, maybe one has a family member who picks the kid up early… but for the most part, I would think we’re mostly full-timers who don’t have the family option. So where in the world are all these people working where they get to waltz in at 10 a.m. and jet out at 3:30? Cuz I need that job.
Or else I need to make a donation to equip the infant room with some Ryan-approved toys (read: one empty shoe box and one plastic straw).
Or tissue boxes. I’m not real picky.